Biological Invasions

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 125–131 | Cite as

Towards the successful control of the invasive Pseudorasbora parva in the UK

  • John Robert Britton
  • Gareth D. Davies
  • Matt Brazier
Original Paper


The aim of this paper is to detail a control programme of the invasive Asian cyprinid fish Pseudorasbora parva in the UK that was initiated in March 2005. Described as Europe’s most invasive fish, P. parva presents a risk to native fishes through the transmission of a novel pathogen and undesirable impacts arising from processes including increased inter-specific competition. Populations have been recorded in 32 UK waters since their first recording outside of aquaculture in 1996; the majority are lakes <5 ha used for recreational angling in England. The aims of the control programme were to develop a basic evaluation framework that assesses populations by risk (high, medium and low), determine commensurate management actions according to that risk and then execute those actions. For populations assessed as ‘high-risk’, for example those that could result in P. parva dispersal into a river catchment, eradication was determined as the commensurate management action and six operations have since been completed, principally using rotenone, and all have been successful to date. For P. parva populations in sites evaluated as lower risk, techniques such as biomanipulation were determined as more appropriate actions and have been used to successfully reduce their abundance by >99%. To date, the total direct cost of this programme of sustained and on-going P. parva control is approximately £190,000.


Eradication Evaluation framework Risk assessment Topmouth gudgeon 



The authors wish to thank all Environment Agency staff involved in the Pseudorasbora parva control programme. The views expressed are those of the authors and not their parent organisations.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Robert Britton
    • 1
  • Gareth D. Davies
    • 2
  • Matt Brazier
    • 3
  1. 1.Centre for Conservation Ecology and Environmental Change, School of Conservation SciencesBournemouth UniversityDorsetUK
  2. 2.National Fisheries Technical Team, Environment AgencyBrampton, HuntingdonUK
  3. 3.Environment Agency Northwest Region North AreaCumbriaUK

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